The team behind the project has revealed that the landing of the Perversion rover on Mars is a breakthrough not only for science but also for open source software.
In an effort to use “secure and proven” software, NASA turned to Linux and open source. “This is the first time we’ve flown Linux on Mars,” said Tim Cunham, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Mars helicopter operations chief. IEEE spectrum.
Without further ado, Cannham noted that the software framework flown by Nosa is used in a very small helicopter named Ingenuity.
A few years ago, JPL launched the multi-platform framework called F´ (pronounced F Prime). The project was actively developed and was originally designed for small-scale space travel systems, and is now part of an automated miniature helicopter flying over the Red Planet.
Open Source Success
This is not the first open source software to enter space. NASA actually has over 500 software projects released under the NASA Open Source 3.0 License, and it is an open source license approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI).
In the interview, Cunham added that they “run on a Linux operating system as well.” He is referring to the relentless rover or the talent helicopter.
Like an open source, Linux has been in NASA’s best books for years now. In 2013, the space agency, in conjunction with the United Space Agency, which manages computers at the International Space Station, transferred the computers from the International Space Station to Debian Linux.
Cunham went so far as to call the latest Mars mission an open source.
“It’s kind of an open source win, because we have an open source operating system and an open source flight software framework and flying commercial parts that you can buy off the shelf if you ever want to do this.”
Via: IEEE Spectrum